tv [untitled] CSPAN April 1, 2010 8:00pm-8:30pm EDT
follow us on twitter. >> c-span. our content is available on tv, radio, and online. you can also connect with us on twitter, facebook, and youtube, and sign up for email at c- span.org. >> today, the white house announced new mileage standards as part of their policy. automobiles will be required to get 44 miles a gallon, an increase of 10 miles from the current rate. this comes the day after an announcement of an offshore oil drilling plan as part of the new package. .
>> the c-span video library, cable's latest gift to america. >> next, a discussion on ways to reduce america's use of fossil fuels. we'll hear from representatives of oil companies and energy policy analysts on ways to reduce america's use of those fuels. the new america foundation and arizona state university hosts this discussion from the national press club. it's an hour and 30 minutes.
>> good morning, everyone. let's get the event started, i am the president of the university and together with the new america foundation we're sponsoring this discussion today which we hope will be one -- somewhat differentiated from typical discussion where one talks about theories to why we can't advance american energy dependence. today our discussion will focus, hopefully to the extent we can, on the revolutionary steps necessary to achieve that as a goal, to achieve that as an objective. last week some of you might have read the article in the "new york times" with the fantastic graphic about the move and countermove scenarios of an israeli attack on the iranians and what might happen and what would happen and so
forth and i remember reading at the bottom and it said at the end it said the straits of hear mousse -- straits of harmuse would be compromised and i remember a class in college and they were telling us the same thing and i thought somehow i hadn't grown up or aged and living in an era where people forgot how to read and no longer had any conceptualization of the political complexity of our energy stream. so i thought today what we would do is just go to our panelists, i'll call on them one at a time and they can very quickly introduce themselves and sort of attack this question of how do we actually achieve energy independence. and i'll start with saneal paul who has some fantastic ideas that are out there. >> sure, thank you. so i am the founder of an organization called gagaton throwdown, a project to encourage scale thinking and also my day job is founding
partner at spring ventures, a venture capital fund that invests in just clean technologies. i actually think the most important thing, there are lots of new ideas out there, new technologies, being able to convert algae directly into fuels or biocrude, new technologies for allowing lick byification of our transportation fleet that are breakthrough, new ideas. but what is necessary almost as much as those technologies is a realization of what it means to be secure, energy secure. and i think a useful analogy is one put out by ann cornun and popularized by james woolsey in a co-authored article using an algae of salts which used to be a strategic commodity. wars were fought over it ever since the invention of
agriculture, salt was fundamental to energy, energy of human beings because it was the only way to preserve food. the reason why today salt is not a strategic commodity, we don't care who has the power over salt trade. we don't fight wars over it. it's not because a substitute for salt was found. it's not because we mine more salt in the united states. it's because we discovered an alternative to that energy preservation. is salt was used to preserve food. we now have lots of other ways to preserve food and most importantly refrigeration. so that alternative of managing energy is the kinds of innovations we've been thinking about. what's an alternative way to deal with oil for transportation? because that is what we fundamentally need. lots of interesting innovations out there. there are two companies i'm
involved in, solazime, a company converting sugar to -- directly to various kinds of oils that can be used, including for transportation, using alge without having to build large-scale pools of algecons and another company called zakim which has the highest conversion ratio of woody biomass trees into products like ethanol. so just two small examples. there are many like them, ls- and amorist and many others that arun has been supported as well and i'm sure he'll talk about more radical ideas but without this kind of thinking there is a possibility and that we can scale these technologies up to the scale that's necessary, not necessarily to completely eliminate use of oil but to give us alternatives so
that it no longer becomes that strategic commodity. >> so, sunil, to pin it down, you're using the salt analogy, we absolutely have to have more alternatives to break this focus on these single simplistic ways of viewing our systems so we need to in a sense embrace complexity which sometimes is difficult to do sometimes. >> yeah, that's right. and we need to have -- right now when you produce electricity, there are a number of ways of doing it, coal, natural gas, hydroelectric, nuclear, etc. you want to move a car or truck or airplane, there's only one way to do it, get stuff out of the ground. >> right. ok. gary, i'm going to turn it to you next. and your focus on -- particularly with your experience having run b.t. asia the last more than a decade, sort of what's going on globally and what that all means for us and how there are
solutions or revolutionary ideas that come at sort of changing the angle of our perspective. >> thank you, michael. my name is gary dirks the director of light works at arizona state university. and as michael said, i spent the last 14 years in asia as president 6 b.p. china and president of b.p. asia pacific. i'd like to take a step back then and look at this from a global perspective and build on some of the things sunil already said and i'd like to start with a quote that i find very compelling that actually came out of the international energy agency's world energy outlook in 2008 and this quote says the world's energy system is at a crossroads. current global trends in energy supply and consumption are patently unsustainable. and environmentally economically forced socially.
this is from an agency whose role is to look at the world's energy perspective and comment on where it's going and in particular the security of the system. you might ask yourself why would a group like this say something so provocative? and i think the way to understand it is to begin by looking at well, what does the forecast actually say? they've updated this, the 2009 when it came out recently, and in that forecast, primary energy demand growth grows by about 1.5% per year globally. the implication of that is that by 2030, we'll have to have a 40% increase over today's energy provision in order to meet that new demand. the bulk of that demand is going to come in developing asia and in the middle east.
the international energy agency projects it will cost $26 trillion in order to meet that scale, about 50% of that for power and more than 50% of that in the developing world. so what are the implications of that? well, the implications are that we are going to see a revolutionary shift in the demand pattern away from the developed world towards the developing world requiring on the order of a trillion dollars a year of annual investment in economies where you have to ask yourself, where's that money going to come from? and how is it going to be mobilized to produce not just the supply of energy but the ability to distribute it and get it to places where it's actually needed. this is a mammoth task, and i think it creates, as i said earlier, a revolution in its own right.
i'd like to then just leave that point for a moment and step back and say just a few words about the current energy system, and i would have to say you would probably say well, he would be saying this, wouldn't he, having spent 34 years in the energy industry, but it is a marvel of human achievement, the energy supply system that we have today. it's literally evolved over periods of hundreds of years, technologically sophisticated, it represents enormous amounts of support by public institutions and intervention by public institutions. and the massive amount of public and private investment. it really does what it's supposed to do. but equally if not more important, it is co-involved with the system for consumption. so they form an ecosystem, production and consumption,
that has within -- has been designed for the purpose of reducing costs, maximizing reliability, maximizing availability, maximizing the overall convenience of energy. i'd remind the people that service stations didn't just come in this planet on corners convenient for people to use them. having electricity in our homes is something we take for granted. now, why is this important in the context of a revolution? it's important because this system is sophisticated, it's competitive, it's adaptive, and it resists change. it really, really resists change. and it has the capacity to resist change because the costs are so low. now, there is something about it that is -- that creates vulnerability, and this is a global vulnerability, and that
is it can only be adaptive to those things it can sense and it can price. and arguably, neither energy security, at least not over long wavelengths nor the climate challenge can be priced. but if you look at the forecast from the international energy agency, you see that we have a long wavelength, fundamental shift in the demand pattern that will inherently create security issues. oil, for example, has to go from 85 million barrels a day, roughly today, to over 100 during this time period. and without intervention, the forecast takes carbon in the atmosphere over 1,000 parts per million. so this is the big challenge and this is what the revolution has to be about, how do we deal with the shift in demand, this
extraordinary demand in the context of a system that is deeply resistant to change. >> what i hear you saying, at least partly, is two things, first q the scale is a revolutionary opportunity from an economic and economic development perspective and scale at the same time is the barrier because it's driven price down so far because of the wave of innovations over such a long period of time. so you have scale both for us and against us in this. so skip, i'm going to turn to you. a lot of people say, you know, the way to reduce our dependence on anything is just use less of this stuff and to be spartans and -- in a technological view. skip, can you talk to us about energy efficiency and scaling and some of the things you worry about. >> there's a conundrum -- it's exactly right. >> skip laitner,. the director of economics -- for energy efficient economy. and we're finding scale is the
critical issue but the conundrum is we have inexpensive energy relatively speaking. since 1970, our economy has worked to a great extent and we've been able to bring down the amount of energy we've used per dollar of economic activity by over half. that's been a phenomenal accomplishment. in other words, since 1972 today, energy efficiency has provided about 3/4 of all new energy related demands for goods and services, new supply with only about 25%. and we still have essentially a supply-side focus though productivity has been the sleeper, the invisible resource and we have to somehow bring that forward. and it is that incredible productive gain that has enabled the cost to decline and has been an underpinning of the economy and evidence coming forward now unless we achieve a scale, unless we move to about double the historical rate of efficiency improvement, our economy may not be as robust as it has been in the past because it has allowed other economic
activities to move forward and in fact a story of -- i might take a moment for devices, i've got here four different things that tell the story. they all look alike. they're about the same weight and made roughly of the same material. this is a travel lodge toothbrush. not very exciting. it's useful in a moment. this is a flash drive, about 500 megabyte flash drive. fairly big, fairly fat for its size i've been using a while. this is a four gigabyte flash drive and the smallest is a 16 gigabyte flash drive. if we continue the current path we may be tapping into the 500 megabyte spectrum with efficiency and if we continue at an accelerated path like jim and others will be talking about we may be thinking of a four gigabyte capacity. but the way we're going it
could get us to a 16 gigabyte path should we develop to develop that resource and we need to take a step back and understand the materials and the science and new designs. let me close with this thought, that the president has announced offshore drilling as a possible way forward. and there may be in fact a critical link. but i'm thinking that that might get us about 20 billion barrels of oil. efficiency by 2035 could get us 60 billion barrels of oil, apologies to jim thinking barrels of oils and hours, but the only way we can come forward is it we make an active choice and choose to develop the resource and not think of it as a 1980's technology such as com pabblingt flourescents but we think of new materials and new design and a choice that has to be made. >> one of the things i hear you saying is something i think people in the united states hasn't fully grasped yet that
innovation can't be an episodic thing but a perpetual thing, always moving forward and driving in a certain direction to enhance these efficiencies and so forth, and how do we drive innovations when we have huge systems that are so efficient that innovations within the system produce only marginal returns versus -- >> exactly. i recall kenneth bolding, an american economist perhaps married to a socialologist and said images to the future are critical to imminent behavior. it has to be purposesful effort in a consistent way that drives these kind of changes and all of what we're talking about needs to be underpinned by a huge understanding of the role of energy productivity at large. >> lisa, you know we live in a world where both market forces and policy forces combine to create for us the environment in which we advance technologies, our energy system is a complex array of public policies and market forces that shape and guide some of those market outcomes. one of the areas people talk
about is policy revolution, talk about policy. >> ok. i'm lisa margonelli, the director of the energy policy initiative at the new america foundation. i come to policy as a reporter. i spent four years hanging out along the oil supply chain and watching how the sort of microeconomies of oil work together. i think one of the things that sticks in my mind when i think about the tasks that we have in front of us is that the mckenzie global institute estimated that over the next 40 years we essentially need to have the productivity growth of the industrial revolution which means we need to have the industrial revolution in triple time. that is a huge wash of activity, an enormous opportunity and of course an enormous upset, the equivalent of the previous industrial revolution. and i think the real question is how do we get to the power stick that skip talked about?
how do we make sure that we're on that path? one of the things that's really a problem in the u.s. at the moment is that the issue of greenhouse gases has become a competitiveness issue. right now we in the u.s. -- which may seem strange if you talk about it here, it seems like it's a huge political issue, a lot of people will say we don't know if it's really happening, there's a lot of confusion in the u.s. the problem is that in asia and europe, policies are already in place to basically take advantage of this massive remodeling of the global energy system. and when you look at europe's standards for autos, you have to wonder how on earth are u.s. auto companies going to compete 15 years down the road. and when you look at south korea's initiatives on the smart grid or europe as the supersmart grid and the u.s. is sort of vainly trying to pull together $11 billion worth of funding from the stimulus bill
towards the smart grid. we're trying to get all the utilities going in the same direction. we have 50 different public utility commissions in 50 different states and each one has a different relationship with their different utilities. we're trying to get everybody facing in the same direction. and south korea has this kind of scheme attic drawn out of how much money they're going to save, how much carbon they're going to save, how they're going to recycle those dollars into their economy and how they're going to create 50,000 jobs a year building appliances for the smart grid. and what you see is that in the u.s., we -- because we have to discuss greenhouse gases in this very politicized way we can't see that we're missing this huge competitive opportunity to get out and get a jump and be in the same place as the rest of the world and that frankly i find scary. and we need to start, i think it's kind of a dirty word in the u.s. but we need to start thinking about having an industrial policy and we need to start thinking about having
an energy policy that's a lot more systemic where we look -- where policymakers are willing to take some hard looks at the overall system and say, these are some problems we want solved and we need to create markets to solve those problems. >> so two things, i really hear you talking about clock speed, that our decisionmaking apparatus in government, even in markets is perhaps insufficiently rapid enough to engage with the scale and the speed with which change has to occur and then you're hinting at and i hope the panel discusses later, you talked about the south koreans and other governments, i think many people are looking at the way that our democracy from its agreian distributed pre1800 model creates from other differentiated states that has
the ability to make decisions in different ways, so i hope we can come back and talk some about that because i think that's a factor here, also. >> i think there's a slight generational change as well which most of us in this room are frankly rather old and, you know, myself included. half of our work lives are moreover and that 40 years, anybody graduating from college right now, that 40 years is their entire life, their entire working life and it's quite different, they have a very different perspective on this than we do. >> one of the things we noticed at the university with all our students is that they are increasingly different from previous groups, the millennium generation has different clock speeds and different ways of sympathizing information and a different focus on duty and environmental outcomes and so forth. so there is some chance that once we're all gone things will
be fine. and so the only hope -- the secretary of energy and the president bring you out from california where you were one of the leaders of the berkeley national laboratory to run this new thing called advanced research projects agency energy at the end of the day is it all about what brains we have and what we can do? >> yes. but more. so, yeah, my name is arum majamdar. i was at u.c. berkeley as a professor but started my professional career at a.s.u. as a 26-year-old young assistant professor. so thank you. and it's nice. i still have a lot of friend out there. let me make a few points. i'm going to make five points, and quickly. number one, i believe we are living in a moment in history which i believe is a sputnik
-like moment. there are three issues -- it's a wake-up call. there are three issues. one is energy security. the second is environment. and you can, you know, split environment in many different ways, whether it's greenhouse gases or just pollution. it's just environment. and the third is technological lead. and if you look around the world, there's some tectonic shifts going on. we talk about india and china, per capita energy use will increase and the population is also increasing, so they have really a double-whammy and we are seeing the tectonic shifts of shifting towards the clean energy, they're really motivated to do that. i believe that's a business opportunity. and for us to change our carbon profile or how we use our energy of getting more efficient, etc., is also a business opportunity. so that's the reality today.
if you ask that question, if you are to capitalize on these tectonic shifts both hopefully in our nation and in the other nations around the world, it's a global issue. the scale of innovation we need is something that we need to understand that. the way i like to put it is that if you look at the last 100 years of innovation, whether it's going from artificial fertilizers to airplanes to nuclear energy, all the way down to internet, all is innovation. imagine the happenings in the next 20 years. that's the scale and pace that we need. because the next 20 years really has to be the most inventive time of our history if you are to take the technological lead and really capitalize and be part of the tectonic shift that's going on. so what we -- what are the strengths we have in the united
states? we still have the best infrastructure in the world, whether it's the universities, whether it's national labs, the small industry, the large industrial labs. this is the best in the world no matter what people -- the higher education system is the best in the world. that's why i came here. so that's our strength. the innovation ecosystem or business and entrepreneurship is really the best in the world. we are the envy of the world. people are trying to emulate it and still can't quite get it right because there are many factors which builds an ecosystem. and the third one i believe is the idea that as was pointed out, the kids in our colleges are knocking on our doors, breaking down our doors saying we want to work in energy. and it is a different generation. and tell us what to do, where to go and how to do it. and they're going to figure out how to do that. so our goal is to be the catalyst, is to unleash the
technological innovation in the united states, is to harness these strengths and unleash that. and we tried to do that and our goal is to look for destructive technologies. it's not the business as usual incremental. because i think beyond this wall of history, i think we need to look ahead. just to give you an example, we invent the lithium batteries, we are 1% of the manufacturing of lithium batteries, 1%. so if we keep working on the lithium batteries, we are feeding someone else. we need to look ahead and see how can we make that lithium battery obsolete and create the manufacturing technology for that as well. and that's the kind of thing we -- that we will be looking for and one of the things we need to recruit the best people as part of the industry, etc. finally, i want to say that we need a policy environment that
can pull these technologies into the market at cost, to look at cost as a very important factor and performance and pull it and stabilize it. and that policy environment is very, very critical. because i think from my vantage point, the ideas that are seen, just amazing ideas coming out from the university of national labs industries, small businesses and large groups, amazing ideas. but where do they go? the reason people are going to china is because an infrastructure has been created with the demand. how do we create that kind of demand and pull those technologies that can leapfrog over today. so i'll stop here. but i think this is a huge opportunity for us. >> what i hear you talking about is what i wrote down was high speed innovation ecosystem. so something perhaps we can talk a little bit about later, there are some that say, well, you know, we can create that you know, we can create that and be wonderfully and